If Only Life Had Stadium Seating
been a hell of a summer hasn't it? Heat waves, deadly mosquito-born
virus, threats of global annihilation by fire, flood, famine
or war, and the vast and terrifying realization that our
president is either an alien or an idiot. Thank god there
was so much delightful fare to be had at the box office.
Who cares if prices have risen to what we used to pay for
a dime bag? Ignore all those naysayers who demand film have
such inconsequential vestiges like substance and plot. And
'Go To Hell!' all of you acting enthusiasts; we don't need
acting in our movies. We have a myriad of special effects
wizards to provide the distractions necessary to make Keaun
Reeves intelligent, Tom Cruise talented and Nicole Kidman
Ah, yes! The blissful days of summer have come, but now
they are almost over. Sadly with them go those fabulous
behemoths of Hollywood, the Summer Blockbusters.
Due in equal parts to a lack of funds, an unwilling boyfriend,
extreme laziness and multiple, successive, debilitating
hangovers I was able to review only a fraction of movies
that I wanted to this summer. So here, instead, I present
to you, my fair-minded moviegoers, my highly anticipated
summer movie wrap up: a look back at a season of blockbusters
that have whiled away our summer and our lives two hours
at a time.
An adaptation of the ever cheerful sci-fi legend Phillip
K Dick's short story of the same name. Dick also wrote the
original stories for Blade Runner, Total Recall and
Imposter each presenting it's own up-beat, positive
view of the living hell that will be the future. Not exactly
blockbuster material, you say? Well, true enough. This explains
why the movie did so poorly at the box office (relatively
speaking). Spielberg is heralded as inventing the notion
of the Summer Blockbuster back in 1975 with Jaws
and it looks like he might be trying to re-invent it as
something darker and a little more intelligent. Little does
he realize that the monster he's created is bigger and stronger
even than him. There are rules to the blockbuster, Steve,
such as: it has to be sunny most of the time, children can
only be killed if they come back to life, and your hero
can never, ever be put into a coma. At least it towered
over A.I. but then so did The Adventures of Pluto
Poor Willem Dafoe. It's always a terrible tragedy to see
an actor so completely outshine a movie that he ends up
looking hammy and ruining the entire affair. If he had just
not acted at all, and threw his lines down like everyone
else in this movie it would have been at least passable.
Sam Raimi stayed very true to the comic book, but didn't
do anything beyond that, no doubt out of fear of incurring
the wrath of the diabolical Stan Lee. He refused even to
add any of his own brilliant campy style that makes his
movies so enjoyable. Perhaps Ang Lee will have better luck
with The Incredible Hulk or Darren Aronofsky with the next
The Country Bears, Like Mike, Juwana mann
These three movies hailed the most tortuous challenge of
the summer. I couldn't bring myself to do it, perhaps one
of you can. The task: first watch Like Mike, then
immediately watch The Country Bears and then see
Juwana mann right after that. Now, without resting,
write a 30-page thesis on the three Shakespeare Comedies
(or Tragedies) you feel these movies most closely mirror,
and cite several examples of how these films outshine their
I suppose it was about time that Clint Eastwood emerged
from the retirement home to prove to us all that he's still
alive, and that there's actually a stunt man out there who
looks a lot like him.
So, how low can a J-lo go?
A J-lo sure can go down low.
But just how low is this down low ho?
Well she's lower than Joe
Master of Disguise
Once you've seen The Country Bears, Like Mike and
Juwana mann, you'll get extra credit if you write a
follow up on The Master of Disguise.
Reign Of Fire
Christian Bale (the sexiest serial killer ever--American
Psycho) teams up with Mathew McConaughey (The lamest
serial killer ever--Frailty) to fight dragons in a post-apocalyptic
future. This pair works together much better than the joining
of the most realistic special effects I've seen in a long
time with the most laughable and unbelievable resolution
to a movie this year. Reign Of Fire tries to bundle
everything up in a cute little package at the end. There
is a very nice premise to this movie, but once you walk
out it's just another boring summer flick.
The writing on the wall is horrific; Hollywood will not
ever stop. Not until every last vestige of the things generation
X holds dear has been absorbed, re-shaped, and profited
on. Look out Fun-Dip! Stand aside View Master! Be very,
very afraid Leggos, for you are all doomed. I hear Woodsy
the Owl and Smokey The Bear have already signed a three-picture
Lilo & Stitch
Now, we're not idiots. We all understand how Disney makes
most of its money. But do they have to make a movie that
is so obviously a vehicle for a stuffed animal and Burger
King Kids Meal crossover? Can't they pull the wool over
our eyes even a little bit? And doesn't it seem like they're
getting a tad desperate for plot lines lately? Have we run
out of fairy-tales for them to bastardize or something?
Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron
At least Disney isn't as desperate as Dreamworks. Get this!
They've made a movie about a horse! A frigging horse! Can
you imagine being the animators who had to draw this piece
of crap? "Well we've got the horse running through
the planes, running down the streams, running through the
fields, running across the mountains, running into the valleys,
and running along the shore. What else can we make the horse
do?" And you wonder why there are so may weird pornographic
inserts in kids cartoon movies (the curiously phallic towers
on the poster for The little Mermaid and that creepy "All
good children take their clothes off" thing in Aladdin,
just to name a couple). These poor people who have to draw
this dreck are driven off their gourd.
Men In Black II
It's nice to see a movie, which so deftly blend the notions
of 'film as entertainment' with 'film as art.' Bravo! Bravo!
Who Is Cletis Tout
So what happened here? The way I figure it someone was idiotic
enough to think that we really wanted to see a newer, lamer
Pulp Fiction, with all the cool parts taken out and all
the crappy parts heightened. This same terminal idiocy could
explain how Christian Slater got the titular role.
Mike Meyers is so much better than this. At least I hope
he is. Even a cavalcade of celebrity cameos is not enough
Viagra to get this flaccid movie series going again. With
Goldmember you find yourself actually pining for the Spy
Who Shagged Me scenes of Powers drinking poo instead of
coffee. I pray that this is the end of Austin Powers. Although
Britney Spears as a Fem-Bot was truly inspired
Am I the only one who realizes that Vin Diesel is gay? I
figured it would be obvious to a two-by-four, but there's
no mention of it anywhere on the gossip sites, or in the
zines. All you have to do is look at the signs. He has that
slightly nasal voice, and an amazingly kind disposition,
especially to all of those pansy talk show hosts he's being
interviewed by. And any one who shaves his head, remains
constantly tan and is ALWAYS super-buff simply has to be
a fan of Aquaman.
Insomnia and 1 Hour Photo
Robin Williams has made quite a gambit in his film career.
First he was a comic, then he was a coke head, then he was
an actor, then he was probably a coke head again, then he
was Disney's bitch for a while, then he was an actor again,
and now he's an actor who only plays the totally insane.
Stop fishing for another oscar, Robin, one is far more than
K-19: The Widowmaker
Just because a whole mess of sailors died of radiation exposure
does not mean we need to make a movie about it. Much like
just because Harrison Ford is still handsome does not mean
he can do a Russian accent.
After a few weeks to calm down I don't hate this movie quite
as much as I did. I still despise Steven Soderbergh, but
Full Frontal has its place in the world. And it's good to
see a movie out there that actually about the making of
movies. We don't get nearly enough of those and Hollywood
is just so damned interesting. I can hardly wait for the
release of the DVD, that way I can watch all the extra footage
and see the making of a movie about the making of a movie.
Now that would totally blow my mind.
After two movies, M. Night Shyamalan continues to use the
exact same character as his protagonist, namely the character
that Bruce Willis always plays. The differences between
The 6th Sense's Malcolm Crowe and Unbreakable's David Dunn
are so subtle that they're non-existent. With Signs Shyamalan
sticks close to his guns and gives us another film centered
around this same stony-faced persona. The amazing thing
is, Mel Gibson is better at playing Bruce Willis then Bruce
Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
This is just too easy. I've taken far too many shots at
this movie over the summer, so I'll finally let it rest.
I swear I'll stop dissing Star Wars, even though watching
it was tat amount to riding the Cyclone while the person
in front of you is suffering from a severe case of salmonella
poisoning, causing not just explosive diarrhea, but also
So that's it for me. Another summer over. Now it's on to
the mindless hell of costume dramas and psychological thrillers
that is the impending Oscar Season. Back to movies where
cars won't necessarily explode spontaneously, people will
always die for a reason, and no one is trying to create
a super-virus that will wipe out mankind. Back to movies
where a man just might burst into tears over something as
inconsequential as the death of his son. Or a woman might
turn the lights off at night and then wake in the morning
only to discover that she has neither been teleported to
a magical kingdom, nor abducted by a serial killer. I do
sort of wonder what the point in continuing on is, but I'm
sure I'll find a way to make it through to the next fabulous
Summer Blockbuster Season.
Suggestions, Mail, Love Letters, Death Threats, and Donations
by way of Flooz! can be sent to:
--B. C. Edwards